A new branch of the Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI) was launched in Kildare town last week.
There was good news for families trying to cope with the problem as the branch has now organised workshops on Tuesdays at Teach Dara from 4:30pm to 6.30pm. However, more funding is needed to cater for additional classes and Chairperson of the branch, Carrie Burgess has pleaded for support. She told those at the launch last Wednesday January 30 about how it all began.
“Two years ago, my dear friend Ann Grogan and I, sat in a kitchen, speaking to one another about our children and our dyslexia. From our simple chats over coffee, sharing angst and giving support to one another, we decided we should try and do something to support parents of children with specific learning difficulties, ranging from dyslexia, dysphasia, ADHD, ADD to Aspergers to name a few,” she outlined.
Two days later they came up with a name for their group - “Parent 2 Parent“. From there they approached Sr. Bride and Donal Fleming who both gave tremendous support, offering the parents rooms in both schools to hold meetings, and allowing us to send home notes to parents. The aim was to have a support meeting once a month and have a guest speaker - the first guest speaker was Mr. Lenihan. Although this meeting was a fantastic success, Carrie recalled how hard it was for her and Ann to talk about their families and their problems with dyslexia at that first meeting in front of 16 strangers. She pointed out a child can get so upset when trying to cope with dyslexia and how it ripples through the family.
“Its not simply letters or words or memory, its their self esteem, their confidence, we want our children to be given an opportunity like any other to fill their full potential in every aspect of their life, whether its intellectually, spiritually, physically emotionally and psychologically,” she added.
Sr. Bride suggested they speak with the DAI, which resulted in Deirdre McGuinness attending a meeting where she spoke about the organisation and how it was established.
“From that moment on our groups purpose seemed very clear. For affiliation we needed a parent driven committee. That week we had our committee, and they couldn’t possibly be more driven. Deirdre had explained that we needed to raise E3,000, to get the workshops up and running. Basically we had to set up a small business. We needed to secure a premises employ a co-ordinator and teachers, buy equipment, and pay other fees,” explained Carrie.
She the committee who worked tirelessly to reach their goal.
“Our coordinator Niamh, initially worked free of charge, coming to our meetings and helping to fund raise. We are proud of what we’ve achieved, it is our hope over the next year to have another three teachers and twelve more children attending these workshops,” she said.
“I leave you with this thought, there are families out there that would love to have their children in a workshop like this. Sadly for financial reasons, this is impossible for them. Unfortunately we don’t have any extra funding, we didn’t receive any grants or finical support from any organisation. It would be fantastic if we could arrange sponsors for children with dyslexia, whose families are having financial difficulties, so all children with dyslexia can benefit from the Dyslexia Association Kildare Town.”
- Niamh O’Donoghue